Friday, February 01, 2008

Mini-Interview: The Karabal Nightlife

Local three-piece rock act The Karabal Nightlife are another group you ought to keep an ear out for in '08, especially what with their new material -- which is sounding rather great -- and all.

In the following nearly unedited IM conversation, they talk about the past, present, and future of the group.

And a bit about feral cats...

RFSL (12:02:20 PM): Hey there, guys.
JESSE (12:02:25 PM): Hey, Joe.
LINDSEY (12:02:29 PM): Hi, Joe.
RFSL (12:02:42 PM): How are you two doing today?
LINDSEY (12:03:13 PM): Alright, just working on an article about feral cats for my journalism class.
JESSE (12:03:34 PM): I'm doing great.
RFSL (12:03:50 PM): I read an article once about Golden Gate Park in SF that said it had a problem with both feral cats and discarded hypodermic needles.
RFSL (12:04:14 PM): So, I've always imagined packs of feral cats roaming around the park at night with needles in their mouths...
JESSE (12:04:27 PM): a cats gotta get his fix
RFSL (12:04:28 PM): Like pirates with daggers climbing up the rigging to a ship?
LINDSEY (12:05:13 PM): Yeah, it's funny how those cats multiply and cause all kinds of craziness... i wanna control the cat pirate army!
RFSL (12:05:21 PM): Ha, ha.
RFSL (12:05:41 PM): Sorry.
LINDSEY (12:06:11 PM): I'm sort of obsessed with cats in general... cats and music
JESSE (12:06:23 PM): mostly cats
RFSL (12:06:29 PM): Ha.
RFSL (12:06:34 PM): So, what the hell is a “Karabal?”
JESSE (12:07:37 PM): Well, it’s a city on the Caspian Sea. (Okay, a fictional city from the great 80s gymnastics/karate flick Gymkata.)
RFSL (12:08:18 PM): Wow. That's fiendishly obscure.
RFSL (12:08:40 PM): What's the name of the band supposed to imply then?
RFSL (12:08:54 PM): And/or how did you come up with it?
JESSE (12:10:29 PM): Well in the movie the main character goes to Karabal and someone throws a spear at him in the bazaar and he quips "So much for the Karabal Nightlife..." I knew I had to name my band after this amazing movie.
JESSE (12:10:52 PM): But also I thought it sounds cool because night time is when you can live away from your work or school or whatever.
LINDSEY (12:11:16 PM): Just sort of implies this mystery.
RFSL (12:11:27 PM): That's pretty genius.
RFSL (12:11:38 PM): How long has the band been together now?
JESSE (12:12:16 PM): Well we've had various incarnations for the last three years but it’s been about one year w/ the current lineup. (Courtney on drums and Nathaniel on keys/guitar.)
JESSE (12:12:48 PM): Before Lindsay, there was this scene girl who used to play in The Ettes and dated a guy from Mars Volta was in the band but... she had to leave.
LINDSEY (12:13:08 PM): Had to move back to Portland
LINDSEY (12:13:48 PM): But I grabbed my chance to join, because I'd been waiting for awhile... at that point I was just helping out with booking and stuff
RFSL (12:15:13 PM): I hate to ask what your influences are because it's a lame, over-used question, but...
RFSL (12:16:13 PM): What were bands that made you want to have a band and play the music you're playing?
JESSE (12:17:21 PM): Well I guess its always changing. I'm always looking for new bands to love and when I find some there's no way that I can totally escape their influence.
JESSE (12:17:25 PM): Currently I've been obsessed with Destroyer, The Clientele, Spoon, Arcade Fire, and always Neutral Milk Hotel!
LINDSEY (12:18:39 PM): I think of us as sort of an amalgam of all the music we love from the 50's on, really...
JESSE (12:19:07 PM): I’ve been listening to some records from the 1910s even lately on the "People Take Warning" compilation.
RFSL (12:19:37 PM): When did you release The Other Shore? About a year ago now?
LINDSEY (12:19:58 PM): Yes, back in November of last year.
JESSE (12:20:36 PM): We worked on it for so long it seems like a million years ago that we started it.
RFSL (12:20:48 PM): What was the recording process like for that? Did you produce it yourself?
LINDSEY (12:21:53 PM): We recorded it in Jesse's grandparents' pool house. Dan Grayson (our old drummer) is a great engineer so we were able to produce it there, as well. We had Rick Parker, who worked on the last couple BRMC albums, master it.
JESSE (12:22:41 PM): We recorded it while my grandfather was dying so I think that largely the recording process was a reaction to that situation. It really made it a life-changing experience and helped me get through some tough times.
RFSL (12:22:54 PM): Sorry to hear that.
RFSL (12:23:54 PM):Are you working on anything new?
JESSE (12:24:00 PM): YES! We are really excited about a lot of new songs that we are writing. We have been taking things in a more exciting direction I think. The new stuff has more of a post punk edge.
JESSE (12:24:14 PM): We really want to do a new EP early next year.
RFSL (12:24:25 PM): Oh, cool. Are you playing that material out live now?
LINDSEY (12:26:12 PM): Oh yes... At our Spaceland show a couple months ago, we started debuting the newest stuff and we're going to keep doing that over the next couple months...
LINDSEY (12:26:19 PM): We opened with a new one at Spaceland, a song called The Long Days, that we really like. It sort of has elements of glam rock and punk.
RFSL (12:26:40 PM): Nice. I really liked that.
JESSE (12:26:59 PM): Why, thank you! Lindsay has been taking a more active role in the songwriting lately too which is awesome!
RFSL (12:27:21 PM): Excellent. What's next for you besides recording? What shows do you have coming up? Any residencies or tours planned?
LINDSEY (12:28:03 PM): We are preparing to go into the studio and record a new EP, a follow up to the debut album. The recording will include the newer songs that we have been playing at our most recent shows. We're also making plans to play some dates up the coast in the coming months, which will hopefully include some out-of-state shows.
LINDSEY (12:29:03 PM): We are also play [next Monday, February 4th] at Bordello with Kissing Cousins. That will also be Jesse's birthday party show.
LINDSEY (12:29:26 PM): We just got back a few weeks ago from London, where Jesse played some stripped-down shows
LINDSEY (12:29:36 PM): That was really exciting
RFSL (12:29:54 PM): Oh, that's great. Where did you play?
JESSE (12:30:58 PM): At this little room in the basement of a pub called the Betsey Trotwood. I also played a songwriter showcase at Canal 125 on Halloween
JESSE (12:31:15 PM): There is a lot of amazing talent in London right now.
LINDSEY (12:31:22 PM): Always seems to be the case
RFSL (12:31:55 PM): Right on. Last question for you... What are you listening to these days?
LINDSEY (12:33:07 PM): As far as local acts go, I love Nightfur, Rocking Horse People, Happy Hollows, Kind Hearts and Coronets, and Stevenson Ranch Davidians
JESSE (12:33:23 PM): Nightfur is amazing. I also love the Happy Hollows, Henry Clay People, Rocking Horse People.
RFSL (12:33:54 PM): I love Nightfur's album.
LINDSEY (12:34:06 PM): Yeah, one of our favorites of this year for sure
JESSE (12:34:10 PM): The new Rademacher is awesome too
RFSL (12:34:37 PM): Cool. That's all. Thanks so much for your time.
LINDSEY (12:34:47 PM): Thank you, Joe!
JESSE (12:34:50 PM): Thanks!

- Sea of Sleep MP3
- I Know Too Much MP3


Blogger Malcolm Sosa said...

'nuff said.

4:11 PM  

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